CLAFI Events


CLAFI events during the fall and winter quarters are conditional on rules adopted by UCLA in response to COVID-19.  Participants and attendees will be subject to all such rules.


Current Events

Lecture

Lincoln and Tocqueville on Slavery

TimeThursday, January 19• 7:30PM
Location(s):
 UCLA Law School Library Room 1447

Jean Yarbrough’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required. 

Seminar

Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Excerpts)

TimeSaturday January 21st• 10:30am-12:30pm
Location(s):
 UCLA Law School Room 2326 (Faculty Library)

Registration for the seminar with Jean Yarbrough is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read and be prepared an excerpt from Alexis de Tocqueville’s celebrate book, Democracy in America.  The excerpt will be provided to participants  A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar. To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Jean Yarbrough, is Professor of Government and Gary M. Pendy, Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College, with teaching responsibilities in political philosophy and American Political Thought. She has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, first in 1983-84, when she was named a Bicentennial Fellow and again in 2005-2006, under a “We the People” initiative. She is the author of American Virtues: Thomas Jefferson on the Character of a Free People (Kansas, 1998), has edited The Essential Jefferson (Hackett, 2006) and, her most recent book, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition, (University Press of Kansas, 2012) won the Richard E. Neustadt Award for 2013 (awarded annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the best book on the Presidency). Ms. Yarbrough is the author of numerous articles and essays in American political thought and public policy, as well as other topics in political philosophy. 

Past Events

Lecture

The Fall of the Millennials

TimeThursday, October 13• 7:30PM
Location(s):
  Law School Building, Room 1447

Do you wanna know why the millennial generation might just be the dumbest generation out there? Come join CLAFI in a lecture all about this Thursday! It is hosted by Professor Emeritus of Emory University and Senior Editor of First Things Mark Bauerlein. Mark Bauerlein’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available. 

Seminar

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chapters 10 and 11

Time: Saturday, October 15 • 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Law School Building, Room 2326

Interested in learning about the life of Malcom X? Please join us for an intimate seminar alongside Emeritus Professor Mark Bauerlein!

Registration for the seminar is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read and be prepared to discuss Chapters 10 and 11 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which is widely available at a reasonable price.  A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar.

To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Mark Bauerlein, holder of a UCLA Ph.D. in English, is an emeritus professor at Emory University.  He has also served as director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts and as senior editor of First Things magazine.  His books include Whitman and the American IdiomLiterary Criticism: An AutopsyThe Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of BeliefThe Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future, Or, Don’t Trust Anyone under 30; and The Dumbest Generation Grows Up: From Stupefied Youth to Dangerous Adults, published in 2022.  He has written for numerous periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lecture

How the Counterculture Won the War: The Merry Pranksters, The Hells Angels, and the Party That Foretold American Politics 

Time: Thursday, November 17 • 7:30 PM Location: Law School Building, Room 1447

Susan McWilliams Barndt’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available.

Seminar

Rip Van Winkle and American Civic Life

Time: Saturday, November 19 • 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Law School Building, Room 2326

Registration for the seminar with Susan McWilliams Barndt is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read Washington Irving’s story “Rip Van Winkle” and participate actively in the discussion. A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar.
To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Susan McWilliams Barndt is a professor of politics at Pomona College, with a particular interest in Politics and Literature.  She previously served as a CLAFI lecturer in 2016-17 (under the name Susan McWilliams), and because her first visit was so well-received, we are delighted to welcome her back.  Her previous CLAFI lecture was a forerunner to her book, The American Road Trip and American Political Thought, published in 2020.  She is also the author of Traveling Back: Toward a Global Political Theory (2014).  She has edited A Political Companion to James Baldwin (2017) and is co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal, American Political Thought.  At Pomona, she has won the Wig Award for Excellence in Teaching three times.

Play Reading

Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya

Time: Monday, November 28 • 7:00 PM
Location: TBA

Anton Chekhov, is often said to be the father of the modern short story and, together with Henrik Ibsen, one of the co-fathers of modern drama.  Uncle Vanya is one of his great plays.  It was first produced in 1899.  This is an excellent opportunity to see the play on Monday night and, three nights later, to hear a lecture on the play by Gary Saul Morson, one of our favorite CLAFI lecturers and one of the leading scholars of Russian literature in the world.
     Since 1999, the acclaimed and award-winning Interact Theatre Company has been presenting staged play readings at UCLA.  This reading is co-sponsored by CLAFI and the UCLA Law School.  It is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available.

Lecture

What Does Not Happen in Uncle Vanya?

Time: Thursday, December 1st • 7:30 PM
Location: TBA

Gary Saul Morson’s lecture is free and open to all.  No advance registration is required.  Light refreshments will be available. 

Seminar

Three Stories by Anton Chekhov: “The Duel.” “Lights.” “Happiness.”

Saturday, December 3 • 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: TBA

Registration for the seminar with Gary Saul Morson is free and open to the public. However, because capacity is limited, advance enrollment is necessary. Enrollment will be primarily on a first come, first served basis, though preference is given to UCLA students and faculty members.  Participants will be expected to read and be prepared to discuss the three Chekhov stories.  A pizza lunch will be delivered at the end of the seminar.

To enroll, please e-mail Professor Daniel Lowenstein at lowenstein@law.ucla.edu.

Gary Saul Morson is the Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities and Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University.  I made a point of meeting Gary Saul Morson after reading his Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time (1996), one of the best books on literary theory I have read.  He is also the author of numerous other important books, including Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (1994, co-authored with Caryl Emerson); Anna Karenina in our Time: Seeing More Wisely (2007); and Prosaics and Other Provocations: Empathy, Open Time, and the Novel (2013).  He has a sense of humor, as you can surmise from the title of another of his books, And Quiet Flows the Vodka, or When Pushkin Comes to Shove: The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Russian Literature and Culture (2000).  A former Northwestern colleague has said of Morson that he demonstrates “a great scholar can also be an inspiring undergraduate teacher.”  Morson’s course, “An Introduction to Russian Literature,” regularly attracts 500 students and is a legend at Northwestern.  His teaching ability carries over to make him a truly outstanding lecturer. 

We hope many of you will take the opportunity to see Uncle Vanya Monday night and, three nights later, hear Morson’s lecture on the play.